Here is a list of products that I love and highly recommend you try!
Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream
Another blogger had recommended this great cuticle balm. It took me a little while to come across it, but it was worth it. It is incredibly thick and the hydrating effect lasts a long time, without being greasy at all, so no shiny fingers! And it is good to use on the nail bed to hydrate as well.
I use Solar Oil before I take ever picture. it gives my cuticles a fantastic hydrated look and camouflages any little dry skin or cuticle that could show up in pictures. It is serious hydration that I desperately need, especially in the winter.
Essie- Protein Base Coat
Sech Vite (Top Coat)
There is nothing I can recommend more highly than Sech Vite top coat. Yes, there are other base coats, other cuticle creams etc, but there is NO comparison to Sech Vite. I have tried many different top coats of both well known and lesser known brands and there is simply none better. Amazing smooth application, and the glossiest finish. It's no wonder it is all salons use.
Sally Hansen's Instant Cuticle Remover
This was one of those products I tried on a whim not thinking it was going to make a huge difference. After I tried it though I knew it was going to be one of those things I couldn't live without. It gets into those tiny little places around the nail that tools can't.
Goes in tandem with:
Go out and get yourself a good pair or cuticle cutters, and spend some time on-line to learn how to use them properly. I have ravaged my poor cuticles, but when done properly, they are indispensable.
This might seem like a silly no-brainer, but a good nail file makes a big difference. Some are simply too coarse, and some not coarse enough. Skip the dollar store ones and go for a name brand like OPI or Orly, my two personal favorites. They last MUCH longer than the drugstore ones.
Although I do it rarely, nail buffing is (to me anyway) essential. I get some very big ridges in my nail beds, and buf them down every-so-often with a CND nail buffer. I have had the same one for years now and it is still not dull, so it gets an A+ from me!
I buy EVERY brand of polish out there. Whether it's a colour that catches my eye, a glitter or something altogether different, if I like it I buy it. And yet, I find myself always falling back to the tried and true brands like OPI. I can easily say it is my favorite brand due to it's perfect application, the wear-life of the polish, and the shelf-life of the polish itself (they will literally last years with proper care). I have found myself experimenting with cheaper brands of polish, and buying the same colour in OPI if I really love it.
I would love to hear from you in the comment section if you have any products that you simply couldn't live without. Let me know what else I should try!